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Old 01-22-2012, 11:38 AM   #1
Robyn
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Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Saskatoon, SK
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Default Finding the right mouth piece for my mare

I am looking forward to the future when I will ride my mare with a curb bit. How do I know what type of mouth piece to get for the bit for my mare (without buying a bunch of bits that 9/10 won't fit?). Les Vogt had an article in Western Horseman a few months back, and he talked about "preload" (I understand the more preload a bit has-the better) and leverage, but I am unsure on the port size, tongue relief and port shape/spade shape that my mare would like best. Is there a way to figure this out? Any recommendations for me? I am not sure if I am confident to go to a spade later or not. Remember - I ride at a barrel racing barn -no help there!
Thanks guys!
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Old 01-22-2012, 02:27 PM   #2
kevinshorses
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If you're handling a bit correctly and it's not DESIGNED to hurt a horse then I believe that most horses will learn to work in it. Will some bits help a horse more than others? Of course, so you'll have to take into account your horses strenghts and weaknesses in comparison to the mechanics of the bit. It seems like a lot of people buy a bit, use it poorly on a poorly prepared horse and then decide that thier precious Fluffy doesn't like the bit. Instead they should take a step back and prepare the horse better and handle the bit better. Also make sure you have a pretty good understanding of how a bit your trying to use works. some terms like tongue relief are misunderstood. The purpose of tongue relief is not to relieve the tongue and make it more comfortable but to prevent the horse from taking pressure off the bars by supporting the bit with it's tongue. Many people think that the more tingue relief the more comfortable the bit is for the horse when in reality the pressure is transfered to a smaller area.
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Old 01-26-2012, 10:02 AM   #3
pocavistaranch
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In my opinion the best way is to test some bits. For example i have one mare who may has a thicker tongue than normal. She likes snaffle and mullen mouth pieces but not straight mouth pieces or any kind of port bits.

As always in horse training it is better to look individual than to work in stereotypes and press the horse in a form.
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Old 01-26-2012, 10:09 AM   #4
pocavistaranch
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In my opinion the best way is to test some bits. For example i have one mare who may has a thicker tongue than normal. She likes snaffle and mullen mouth pieces but not straight mouth pieces or any kind of port bits.

As always in horse training it is better to look individual than to work in stereotypes and not press the horse in a form.
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Old 02-10-2012, 11:11 AM   #5
Cattleman
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As I look back on the things I have learned from the horses over the years. One of the best things I ever did was educate myself on bits. I spent a lot of time one summer learning all about different types of bits, what their purpose was, how they operated in the horses mouth, etc etc. I read a lot of books on the subject and formed my own opinions. The article by Les Vogt about pre-load was a good one and yes pre-load can be a good thing if you know how to use it. However if you are simply just wanting to "advance" your horse into the next "phase" of training without the proper preparation you are setting them up to fail. The proper preparation includes preparing your horse and preparing yourself. I commend you for taking the time to ask the questions. Why don't you tell us a little bit more about your horse, what is it that you want to accomplish with this horse? What are you currently riding her in?
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Old 02-10-2012, 02:47 PM   #6
Steve C
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I remember reading that Tom Dorrance said something along the lines of use a bit that the horse likes and offers suppleness and responsiveness to. If the horse doesn't accept the bit you are trying to use all you get is a fight and that leads to nothing good.


Steve
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Old 02-14-2012, 07:33 PM   #7
Robyn
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Smile

I bought this mare as "green broke" 2 years ago as a 5 yr old. She had potential I thought, when I went to look at her. Reason being, she had softness and she didn't resist to pressure or didn't feel "dull" yet. So I bought her, knowing she needed lots of miles and hours.
We started off ok, but then we had arguments. It was my fault 110% of the time. I rode her in just a Jeremiah Watt loose ring snaffle. I had more to learn than her at that point. I decided to let a fellow that I met through friends taker her for 2 months. He rides for one of the PFRA pastures up here SK. Real good rider. Soft hands. Gives the horse the time to get things right, but he has good discipline. He did the most amazing job in that 2 months! I am so happy! So, needless to say, I have learned bucket loads since then, and I have better communication with her...more than any other horse I have had in the past! I rode with Peter Campbell in a clinic of his, last summer...and decided to put her in the bosal for one day. I timed that move right and she took it all like she was a pro.
I have rode her in the bosal for 6 months, off and on with the snaffle (to go back and get back to basics where threads were coming loose) and now just using a snaffle mouth colt bit with medium shanks, to see how she is with shank signal. She is pretty good. She has picked up more on the neck reining and listens to my legs and (seat needs improvement on my end).
I am able to pick up the reins and immedietely, she she is listening to me for the next move (ears turning around-waiting). I can set the reins down, and she will "go to sleep" until I pick up the reins again.
There other folks at the barn asking how I have such a good horse and they are amazed how she just listens to me so. (Insert BIG warm fuzzy feeling).
So this is where we are now. It is a far cry from before I had her trained - I was ready to send her on the truck to Ft. MacLoed...meat packer! I was frustrated then....VERY happy and glad we have come to terms now. Thats because I gave her the time it takes...so it takes less time. I learned "feel".
That is my story on "Taya".
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Old 02-14-2012, 07:37 PM   #8
Robyn
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I shouldn't say she was sent out to be trained...She had further education in communication.
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